Northeast KY AHEC Represented at National Conferences



MOREHEADThree Northeast Kentucky Area Health Education Center (NE KY AHEC) staff members recently attended and presented at national conferences. Their presentations focused on in-state medical school data tracking and programs the NE KY AHEC has created to increase the number of medical school applicants and matriculants from its 17-county service region.

Director David A. Gross and Student Services Coordinator Jessica Caudill traveled to San Diego, Calif., to present “Using Data to Guide Rural Physician Pipeline Initiatives” at the National Rural Health Association’s 40th Annual Rural Health Conference on May 11. Promoted as the nation’s largest gathering of rural health advocates, this year’s event had more than 800 attendees from across the nation.

"Our session seemed to be well received and we've had multiple attendees follow up with us for additional information," Gross said. "I've garnered numerous contacts and program ideas from conferences such as these, so I believe it's important to share the experiences we've had with our own programs."

Gross and Caudill’s session focused on more than eight years of county-level in-state medical school applicant and matriculant data tracking. Due to the low numbers of applicants and matriculants to the three in-state medical schools during the first five years of this initiative, the NE KY AHEC developed two programs, Successfully Training and Educating Pre-Medical Students (STEPS) and the Summer Health Internship Program (SHIP). Since the development of these programs the NE KY AHEC has seen an increase in applicants and matriculants from its service region. Gross and Caudill’s session attracted more than 50 attendees.

Heath Careers Coordinator Lainey Mattox also presented on the development and success of STEPS and SHIP at the National Association of Advisors for Rural Health Professions’ Bi-Annual Conference in Charleston, S.C., on May 31.

“After talking with pre-med advisors from across the southern part of the US, I have come to the realization we all have similar issues in our applicant process,” Mattox said. “Therefore, coming together at conferences like this and seeing the different things people are doing to help these students gets you excited to come back to your home state and tweak the programs that you currently have with new ideas!”

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